How To Invest In Relationships & Build a Powerful Network
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How To Invest In Relationships & Build a Powerful Network

Hey there. I’m Dan Martell, serial
entrepreneur, investor and creator of SaaS Academy. In this episode, I’m going
to share with you how to invest in relationships
to achieve your biggest dreams and goals. And be sure to stay
to the end where I’m going to share with you
my Dream 100 framework, how to identify the 100 people
that I guarantee if you got into your world would allow
you to achieve the most ambitious dreams and goals
possible for you in your life. [MUSIC PLAYING] So the other day I was doing a
coaching call with my clients. And a new client–
actually, it was right at the end of
the call, he actually asked the question that
took me a little sideways. And he said, hey, Dan,
not really SaaS related– because we were all SaaS
founders on the call– he goes, but if you could go
over and start over again in your business–
because he was starting off. He was a little bit the
ways, but he was a young guy. He said, what would
you do different? And it made me think. Because there’s literally
thousands of things. When people say what’s the
secret to success, thousands of different things
you could do to be successful from
personal accountability to productivity to team
to et cetera, et cetera. But I said what
really struck to me when I say when did
my life go like this and take a different
trajectory, was when I started investing in relationships. And I wish I would have
done that a decade earlier– and not really a decade. I was probably 25 when I started
first outreaching and getting to know people. And I started building
companies when I was 17. So what I want to share
with you in this video is how I went from literally more
introverted, super nervous about reaching out to people,
scared that they would say no, that they would judge me,
that I would say some stupid if I even have the chance
to speak with them. And really the strategies
I’ve implemented today where now I’ve been privileged
to get invited by guys like Richard Branson to
spend a week at his house in Switzerland– to have Mark
Cuban invest in my company, to have Travis Kalanick,
the founder and CEO of Uber, be an investor and mentor
in my company Flowtown. And just really when I look at
my relationships and the folks that I get to travel around
the world with and do incredible things like rally car
racing and snowboard and heli trips, kite boarding– I’m not trying to
brag, but in a week, I’m jumping on a private jet I’m
going to eight different cities all around Europe. Those kind of things
are 100% a byproduct of relationships in people. And this is how I
would encourage you starting off potentially
today to really get the most out of it. Number one, go out. So it’s a pretty straight
forward fundamental. But if you don’t leave
your desk– if you’re just sitting there and
typing on your keyboard and getting what I call
the keyboard cowboy tan, that pale
looking skin, you’re not going to meet anybody. I think who was it? Jarrod, who was it that
said that, that showing up– 80% of success is
just showing up? The director. No. He was the director. Oh, [INAUDIBLE] Silver. No. It was– no, it was– somebody in the
comments let me know. It was– man. Woody, Woody Harrelson. Woody Allen. Woody Allen. 80% of success is
just showing up. Get out of your office. Here’s what that
looks like though. There are entrepreneurial
events in your city you probably don’t
even know happen. I don’t care if you
live in a small town. They exist. There are events that you can
jump on a 45 minute flight to get to the nearest
bigger city around you, enjoying those events. There are groups of people
doing activities on– it could even be non-profits. But you just gotta get
out and force yourself. Even if you’re like,
Dan, I’m an introvert. That drains me. Great. Then don’t tell me that you
want to achieve this level of success building companies. And then think that you’re just
going to sit in your office and do nothing, and
it’s going to happen. Your ability to
fast-track and get access to knowledge
and information that’s going to help you
accelerate your growth and even deals, opportunities
for customers is going to be a byproduct
of you communicating with other human beings. Don’t think that you can
sit behind a keyboard, do Zoom session, Skype
sessions, chat sessions, emails, and accomplish the same thing. There is something
physiological that happens when you sit in
front of another human being and have a conversation
and look at them eye to eye and break bread. So highly recommend
get out of your office and get out, make
the commitment today. Number two, host dinners. Here’s why I think–
and I’ve done full videos on founder dinners
and the structure I use. And you can even buy the
book Mastermind Dinners by my buddy Jayson Gaignard. It is the Bible for that. I was inspired by
a book called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. But here’s the reason– because
a lot of people are like, oh, I don’t know if I could do
this, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh. The easiest way if you’re
going to go to an event, [INAUDIBLE] you go
in, you go out, then just organize a dinner and
invite a few people you meet. It can literally be that simple. You’re interacting. You sit next somebody,
hey, I’m John. Hey, what are you
doing for dinner? Great. I’m organizing a group of
people just like you for dinner. Are you free? Yeah. Then you go find
two other people to organize that dinner
you just tell them that you’re organizing. Because it may not be true. That’s the way you do it. You just start doing it like– I don’t know– there are other
people that feel like you. And they just need somebody
to be the catalyst, to be the connector
in the center of it to pull them out
of their office. It doesn’t matter if you’re
an entrepreneur, an employee, this strategy works. It’s incredible. And it’s through that–
what the research has shown is that the biggest
opportunities don’t come from strong connections. They come from weak
connections, meaning that all the opportunities you
could extract from somebody you know well like your best
friends or your colleagues or your co-workers, those
have probably already been identified. But the bigger opportunities,
the new opportunities are going to come from
your weakest connection. So these are typically new
people or friends of friends. When you tell them what
you’re up to they go, oh. I know a guy. Let me make an introduction. That is crazy powerful. And breaking bread– lunch,
breakfast, keep it simple. If you want to go do
dinners, those are fun too. But it’s a bigger commitment. Because if somebody has a
family, it’s a bigger ask. I love when people
invite me to lunches. Because those are easy for me. Everybody’s gotta eat. Why not eat with
a group of peers that might teach,
inspire or that you can be helpful to somebody else? So host dinners. Number three,
perfect your intro. This is a huge shout out
to my brother Clay Herbert. He is the creator of
The Perfect Intro. And I think that
this is probably one of the most
fundamental things you need to learn if you’re
really truly going to connect and build relationships. Here’s why– is too often– maybe it’s a belief mindset
of I don’t want to brag. I don’t want to be boastful. I’m humble– whatever
it is you have. When somebody genuinely leans
in, wants to know what you do, you downplay it. Well, I do this. You might own a $10 million
a year software business, and you go I build a web app. I’ve seen founders do that. Somebody asks them, hey,
Mark, what do you do? I build a web app. He’s got 60 employees, does
over $10 million in revenue, and just got awarded
fastest growing company in the whole state. That’s who Mark is. Dude, step up your game. And I’m not saying you have to
come out of the gate with that. But understand how
to introduce yourself and really just
say who you serve. So Clay’s framework, The Perfect
Intro, you can Google it. Go watch it. He’s taught it all over. He’s got a book coming. It is so simple. It’s I help who your ideal
customer is get and then result you help them get. If you just start
there then what happens is people lean in and go, oh. How do you do that? One of my friends,
Melanie, her perfect intro is I help entrepreneurs
create memorable experiences. So all of the sudden if
I’m saying, hey, Melanie, what do you do? And she says that, I go,
well, I’m an entrepreneur. How do you do that? What kind of events? And then boom, boom,
boom, opportunity to brag a little bit. And it’s not to
brag to show off. It’s to give enough
context for who the person is so that we
can identify opportunities together. That is the reason why–
especially as a Canadian, so many people are so reserved. And they don’t want
to come off that way. I’m telling you, you’re
hurting yourself. You can pull back the
onion layer by layer. You don’t have to come
out with a big brag. But you got to be able
to perfect your intro. I lived in San Francisco
for five years. And I believe that one
of the benefits of being in that environment is
that on a daily basis you have the
opportunity to iterate. On a daily basis, I might
be asked 20 to 50 times. I’m not even joking. Because you go to an event. You go to lunch. You meet people. You’re walking down the street. You run into friends, et cetera. What do you do? That many times
you get to iterate. You get to see in somebody’s
eyes like, did he get it? Oh, no. Didn’t get it. Totally confused. All right, I’m going to try
something different next time. And it’s that iteration that
makes that city specifically so powerful. You might only get asked
once or twice a month. So do the work, perfect it. I help ideal customer get
results that you help them get. Be specific. And that will open
up the conversation for your perfect intro. Number four, add value. Now, here is the biggest thing. I literally met a guy. And I said, so what do you do? And he says to me– I can’t even make this up– I am one of the most
connected people, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Literally, once he started
saying connected people I was like, ah. That was his spiel. He was selling
himself to me that he was a well-connected person. And here’s the deal
is he sounded like he knew people, knew of people. But what I’m more interested
is how well do they know you? And how much do they trust you? Because here’s what
I’ve learned is that if we can add
value to people, if we can help other people, if
we can go out of our way and create connections
for people, then that creates a level of
trust, a level of reciprocity, a level of invested currency
in that relationship where that person isn’t
just somebody you know. I don’t know why
some people think it is almost like
collecting baseball cards. That’s not what I’m
talking about here. It’s not because, oh,
that person knows my name. That’s the craziest
thing in the world. What I want to know is
if I call that person, they’re going to pick up. If I email that
person for a favor, they’re going to respond. If there’s a situation
where I’m in trouble, that I can get some support. To me, that is
why we add value– to be able to give first
without any expectation whatsoever so that
at some point maybe they feel the need
to reciprocate. Or if you need a favor,
you can call it in. Now, I know a lot of people
that just give, give, give. And they never ask. That’s not good either. Because you don’t allow the
other person to reciprocate, which creates some tension. Most people don’t know this. I have a very good
friend who always gives. He never asks. And then all these people
are like, hey, man. It’s not cool. You never asked me for favor. Almost they take
it as an insult. So you want to add value. How do you do that? Offer introductions
to specific people that can solve that
person’s problem. Don’t do it blind. Ask them first. The worst– I had this
happened the other day. Hey, Dan, meet X.
You guys should talk. No context, no
understanding why. I knew the person well enough. I feel like I trusted them. I scheduled a 15
minute conversation. And literally, it was
two guys on a call, trying to figure out why we got
connected in the first place. It was awkward. Don’t do that. If you know somebody that
can be helpful, offer it. If you know that there’s
a potential client that would be perfect,
offer the introduction. But add value first without
any expectation whatsoever. Number five, stay connected. One of the things–
if somebody asks me like what do you do really well? I don’t feel like I continue to
add to the top of my network. I feel like I really
thought thoughtfully about my Dream
100– which I will share with you guys in a
second how to learn more about. And what I’ve done really
well is just stay connected, meaning that what
I do, it’s simple. I don’t have a CRM. I don’t make it
super scientific. I literally have a list
of people in each city. And sometimes I’ll
even use Facebook. So if you go on
Facebook and say, who lives in San Francisco–
or my friends who live in San Francisco, my
friends who live in New York, it’ll actually show
you all your friends that are in those cities. And then what I
do when I travel, I organize lunches,
dinners, or breakfasts. And I invite them to it. Or I’ll create an event. I do a trip every year– 48 incredible entrepreneurs. We jump on a helicopter. We go skiing, incredible powder. And it’s something
I get to curate. And really, as I
meet new people, as I want to stay
connected with old friends, I invite them on that trip. And it’s just a really
great way to do that. But to me, it’s
just being somewhat thoughtful to write their
name down, stay connected, see how you can help. And just invest. What I love, and, again, my
buddy Jayson Gaignard said this is if you do things right,
if you manage your integrity, and you deliver on what you say,
and you do all these things– the most valuable thing
of all of this is, yes, opportunities to grow,
opportunities to learn, be around people
that inspire you– all incredible things. The most powerful
thing for me is knowing that no
matter what happens to me in my life,
bad decision, lose everything, whatever it is– I won’t even say the
word [INAUDIBLE],, because I don’t bring
that into my world. But bad things happen. That if you are a good
person that always invests in your relationships
that you’ll be able to call in the favor. And that was one thing
Jayson shared in his story is just that you can take
everything from them. But you can’t take
my relationships. And it is in that foundation
that we as entrepreneurs get to dream bigger,
focus on crazy, ambitious goals
knowing that we have the foundation of those people
to support us to achieve that. I think that is probably
the most exciting part about going out, investing
in relationships, connecting with
people, adding value is that this is something that
will pay dividends for decades. And it takes so little time that
will have such a huge impact on your mindset, on your
confidence, on your ability to learn really fast,
solve big problems. That is just the best
ROI on your time. It’s why wished I could’ve
went back and started sooner. So quick recap on how you
invest in relationships. Number one, go out. Number two, host dinners. Number three,
perfect your intro. Number four, add value. Number five, stay connected. So I mentioned at the
beginning of this episode I want to share with
you a framework I created called The Dream
100 that I teach my coaching clients. The way this works
is really simple. And you can click the link below
to get access to that training. But it’s understanding that
there’s three core types of groups of people that
you need to connect with– the peers, these are
people on the journey– the advisors– the folks that
have the missing information that really round out your
expertise– and the mentors– the people who have already
been where you want to go that can give you
perspective on vision. Sometimes I joke
that mentors are people you turn to
instead of your parents. I dive way deeper on that
topic in the training. So you can click the link
below to get access to that. If you like this video, be
sure to click the Like button. Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. And also share it
with anybody that you think it could add value to. And as per usual, I want to
challenge you to live a bigger life and a bigger business. And I’ll see you next Monday. This is a good one. This is a good one.

4 thoughts on “How To Invest In Relationships & Build a Powerful Network

  1. How do you get someone like Mark Cuban to invest in your company? Follow these 5 steps I've used to build the kind of relationships that will last a lifetime.

  2. We sometimes get sucked in by everything that's happening in and around our business. To stop and take your head out of the mud is very important. It's during this time that we forget to add value and make time to meet people and invest in relationships. Wash of the mud and invite people for dinner! 🙂

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